Last Thursday the official opening of The Place was carried out by the Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry watched on by more than 40 guests and young people.

The project which cost £540,000 received a great boost when Councillor Perry arranged for £400,000 from Hampshire County Council.

It is hoped that the facility will be the focal point for all youth activities in the town and will help provide resources, information, training and advice to young people and their families.

Young people from Ringwood School also raised £5000 toward The Place and won a competition for a 54’ plasma TV which they also donated to the new facility.

Councillor Perry said in his speech ‘I have been very impressed by the commitment of young people in the town and I hope this is something that can be copied elsewhere’.

This was supported by County Councillor Steve Rippon-Swaine who said this is a great model for the way that local authorities and groups can work together for a common purpose.

Amongst resources available in the new facility are Wifi, Xbox, Slush Puppy Machine, Double Pizza Oven, Espresso Machine and Panini Grills.

Some basic cooking courses are held most weeks in the building and other courses to engage with young people and increase life skills will be made available in the coming months.

The facility can be hired by youth groups and those working with young people.